The role of force dynamics and intentionality in the reconstruction of L2 verb meanings: A Danish-Spanish bidirectional study

Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Teresa Cadierno, Alberto Hijazo-Gascon

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This paper examines the role of force dynamics and intentionality in the description of placement events by two groups of native speakers of typologically and genetically different languages, Danish and Spanish, and by two groups of intermediate adult learners, Danish learners of L2 Spanish and Spanish learners of L2 Danish. The results of the study showed that (a) force dynamics and intentionality are important semantic components in both languages, but their distribution and relative focus differed crosslinguistically, and (b) the two learner groups had difficulties in reconstructing the meanings of the L2 verbs involving these two semantic components. Learning difficulties were observed when moving from a less to a more complex L2 system, when moving in the opposite direction, i.e., from a more to a less complex L2 system and when moving to an L2 system that is as complex as the learners native one.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-160
Number of pages25
JournalReview of Cognitive Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • placement events
  • force dynamics
  • Danish
  • Spanish
  • L2

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